Trudeau said Ford police need to do their jobs, not get more powers | Rare Techy


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On the evening of February 9, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made it clear to Ontario Premier Doug Ford that police do not need additional powers to quell protests in Ottawa and Windsor.

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That’s according to a readout of a phone call between Trudeau and Ford, which was presented as evidence at the emergency law inquiry.

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The show also shows Trudeau’s comments surrounding the protests at the time, and that he was unaware that neither the prime minister nor the mayor of Windsor could lead the police.

“First, they are not a legal protest. They are occupying a municipal street and are not legally parked,” Trudeau said, according to a reading compiled by the PMO. “You shouldn’t need more tools — legal tools — they’re holding back the Ontario economy and doing millions a day in damage and hurting people’s lives.”

Downplaying what happened as people parking illegally on a municipal street is a far cry from a national emergency requiring emergency law.

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“The police in the jurisdiction have to do their job. If they say they can’t do it because they don’t have enough officers or equipment, we need to eliminate that excuse as soon as possible,” Trudeau said.

That was always a problem, especially with Ottawa, the jurisdictional police, ie the local police service, wasn’t doing their job.

“I’m as frustrated as you are, and if I could direct the police, I would,” Ford said in response to Trudeau.

That prompted Trudeau to ask Ford if that meant the Ontario Provincial Police couldn’t help. When Ford replied that the OPP could help, but he could not direct the police on how to act, Trudeau then asked who could.

“Does the mayor have to lead the local police?” asked Trudeau.

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The Premier should know that just as he cannot direct the RCMP on operational matters, neither the Premier nor the Mayor can direct their forces. Besides, the bigger problem here is that Trudeau said late on February 9 that the police don’t need more powers, they just have to do their job.

An act used against advice

Trudeau was right on that front, but days later he invoked the Emergency Act despite no request from the Ottawa Police Service, Ontario Provincial Police, RCMP or CSIS. In fact, as we’ve discovered during our investigation, both CSIS and the RCMP said no emergency law was needed.

“I am of the view that we have not yet exhausted all the available tools that are already available through existing legislation,” RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki wrote to Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino’s office before invoking the law.

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Meanwhile, CSIS warned the Trudeau government both before and after the act was launched that it would be dangerous, according to a document submitted to the inquiry.

“CSIS indicated that EA’s appeal by the federal government would likely result in the convoy dispersing within Ottawa, but would likely increase the number of Canadians with extreme anti-government views, leading some to believe that violence is the only solution to what they perceive as a broken system and government,” says the document.

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If no police service called for invoking the Emergency Act, when the RCMP said it wasn’t needed and CSIS warned it was dangerous, why did Trudeau invoke it?

The law is clear, the Emergency Act must be invoked only when there is an emergency that “cannot be effectively dealt with under any other Canadian law.” The emergency must also be one that “results from threats to the security of Canada and is so serious as to constitute a national emergency.”

Based on the testimony and evidence seen so far, including Trudeau’s own words, the legal threshold for relying on the act was not met.

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